More on the Nikon D5100 announcement

I feel pretty confident about the April 4th release date for the Nikon 5100, even though some countries have a Nikon press event scheduled for April 5th, 2011 (probably because of the different timezones). The interesting part is that there's also suppose to be some kind of a Coolpix presentation. This could just be rerun of the latest Coolpix cameras announced in February (similar to the recent Nikon event in Taipei) or it might be the new Nikon mirrorless system (I am secretly hoping they will not use the Coolpix or Coolpix Pro names).

Some rumors indicate that the Nikon D5100 will have a new "Night Vision" mode allowing you to take photos in near darkness. I am not sure if this will mean a new high-ISO level or just a software solution.

If this Amazon listing is correct, the D5100 will use the EN-EL9 battery.

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  • Very nice!

    • Thanks, what about sensor, 14 or 16MP? Hoping it will be the Sony 16MP sensor, best APS-C sensor ever.

      • not sure yet, I got conflicting reports for 14 and 16MP

        • Thanks, “night vision” would make more sense with D7000´s sensor.

        • ozdregs

          How about the D7000 16Mp sensor, with a mirrorless design.
          Lose ~1 stop of light for the mirrorless component, and still get a camera that can do ISO 100-1600 with reasonable noise.

          If you want the higher ISO or speed you get the D7000, if you want the smaller camera/lower ISO the D5100.

          • PHB

            That would be a completely new design, not an update of the D5000 which would be necessary anyway.

            The D5000 and D90 were by far the most successful and profitable DSLRs Nikon have ever made. The D7000 looks set to beat the D90 on sales and we should hope the D5100 follows suit.

            This is really just completing last years rev of the consumer area products. The D7000 sensor seems more likely to me. The D7000 will still offer an upgraded body, better focus and faster FPS, plus the AF motor and likely a higher resolution display.

            As far as news goes, I am more interested in the upper end of the line and whether the D400 and D4 will arrive on schedule. Its not just the Nikon factory that may cause delay. The Sony fab was disrupted as well and Canon may well have production in the area. The way Japanese industry works, Nikon would not take advantage of Canon’s distress nor would Canon take advantage of Nikon. So a delay at any one of the three could be critical.

      • Highlight

        Simple, April 4th (month) day 4 => 4 x 4 = 16 MP!

        • Ruben

          So if the D800 gets announced July 8th..?!

          • alvix

            MF realm..definitely… !

            • Uck761

              D800, see u in summer…or even after

          • Highlight

            That’s impossible! 😉

        • Mikael

          Following that logic I’m willing to wait until next Christmas for the D800. 😉

      • mik

        14 or 16MP?

        U mean diffraction limited at f10 or f8?
        Let’s keep upping the MP until we’re diffraction limited at f4, then we can all go home.

        • you don’t understand diffraction.

        • Arthur

          What has a physical phenomenon (diffraction) to do with the number of pixels? It has something to do with sensor size, but not the amount of pixels.

          • Astrophotographer

            Diffraction limit the resolving power of a lens. There’s an exact formula but a rule of thumb is the resolving power can be no better than the f-number measured in microns. So at F8 what’s the value in having pixels smaller than 4 um?

            • Jimmy Lamont

              Diffraction sets in at differing apertures for different mediums. Shooting at f/64 on 4×5 is common, shooting at f/64 on APS-C is crappy, and shooting at f/64 on a point and shoot would yield pinhole-esque quality.

              The megapixels will help show every flaw in the lens, not worsen diffraction. The current argument is that Nikon’s lenses are not up to snuff to deal with MF amounts of megapixels.

  • danny

    Cant wait to compare with the new rebel

  • jimb

    And I am secretly hoping that they’ll use some kind of d7k sensor but with less than 16mp (14 or even 12 I dont care) and even better iso performance…

    • Stephen.C

      No way they would use a sensor that has better ISO performance than the D7K on a lower priced model.

      • jimb

        Last summer D3100 had better iso performance than D5000 (according to dxomark) so why not… at least if that “night vision” thing is real…

        • D5000 is obviously outdated model. If you compare this way, you’ll then need to place D5100 in that shelf.

          • jimb

            Yes but still, with D5000 stock still in stores, we have 8 parallel months (from 3100 announcement to the upcoming 5100 announcement) for the two models, so far…
            Considering the D3000 life-cycle (1 year) I’m not sure if the upcoming 5100 and the 3100 will stay together in the market for a lot more than another 8 months…

            Anyway… I still dont see a D5100 with slightly better iso performance as a theat to D7k sales for many reasons…

        • “Last summer D3100 had better iso performance than D5000 (according to dxomark) so why not… at least if that “night vision” thing is real…”

          This is, to me, the most cogent argument behind what I see happening right now in Nikon’s lineup. For many years they have introduced a top down release cycle, and the lowest end bodies tend to benefit from current tech the most in any given release cycle.

          If you look at it from a macro perspective, it doesn’t matter. The cameras get updated at the same intervals, and the newer-released low-end bodies still have the potential to contain better tech than the higher end bodies.

          It’s really an emotional problem. People are bothered when the less expensive D700 has better tech than their D3, or the less expensive D90 has better tech than their D300, even though the chips are “the same”. So, Nikon simply reverses the release order, and now the D7000 has great tech, and the D400 better, as it benefits from the extra time to massage the most from the tech.

          This is the new approach to Nikon’s current and future lineup. I can’t see why it isn’t clear to more people.

          • broxibear

            Hi Ron Adair,
            I understand what you mean about the next generation cameras being better than the last, but the examples you give are not right.
            The only thing the D90 had the D300 didn’t was video, apart from that the D300 was higher spec with it’s AF system, fps and viewfinder to name a few ?
            I don’t recall the D700 having better tech than the D3 either …or am I wrong ?
            I think Nikon’s approach has more to do with seperating the consumer cameras from the professional ones.

            • Not that it was a huge deal, but the D700 had sensor cleaning, and a purportedly better auto white balance.

              And video, while not a key feature for many folks here, is a hot seller in the market, like it or not.

              It’s not usually the big things that the new cameras offer, though sometimes it is. Still, the little things are what tend to get people heated up. That DOES affect bottom lines eventually.

              But think about it: nobody wants to sell their more expensive, more capable body for a loss so they can buy an overpriced (initially) lower end body with more capabilities or quality than their current cam. Now, the other way around? I dare say most people actually DO rationalize selling their lower end body to get more in the next model up. Nikon knows this is an easier upgrade path, simply because it is an UPGRADE in the real sense.

              This means more low end purchases by those that think “that’ll be enough for me,” and more post sale upgrades from a number of those original buyers that are too profoundly enticed by the shiny new model with its shiny new features.

              I could be talking out of my left ear, but I sense this is what Nikon has figured out, and they are making the shift as we speak. I suppose time will tell.

              Postscript: Why do I care? Because this theory, if true, would mean a D4 baby (aka D800) BEFORE the D4 is released. 🙂

      • cameraman

        Stephen c

        this is the most ridiculous recycled logic ever

  • Bonetti

    @ stephen.C

    The D5000 had the same sensor has de The D300s and it was a lower price model

    • soap

      And the key word of Stephen.C’s post was better not same.

      • Paul

        Looking at the scores from dxomark, the sensor on the D5000 is better than the one on the D300s (marginally, and probably after some extensive tweaking, but nonetheless it’s better).
        So there’s a (really small) chance the D5100 will sport a better sensor than the one on the D7000.

    • Tomas X.

      D5000 does not have the same sensor as D300s. Reading channels are inside th sensor. D300s has channels for 8 fps. The 8 fps sensor is much more expensive than the D5000’s sensor. Maybe fast readout can make DxO small differences in tests.

  • nuno

    Great. We would also appreciatte if you could make an estimation of the time when the D700 replacement will be released.

    • Everything pointed to a summer announcement for the D700 replacement. This however may have changed in the last few weeks because of the situation in Japan.

      • Definitely there will be a change of plans, unless Nikon manages to relocate its manufacturing facilities quickly 🙁

  • First

    Let’s hope it has more 1080p framerates than the d7000.

    • roos

      lets hope it comes in two versions, one more expensive with video and one cheaper without.

    • Ruben

      I just hope it has 25/30fps, and a proper codec. 24fps brings a lot of trouble when you film inside. But they should also implement 50/60 @ 720p, or they will lose a lot of people to Canon, witch they already did.

      • jasdfo


        24p is cool and all, but it’s not flexible enough. You can sorta kinda get away with converting 24p to 25p… but it’s not ideal. (I’m in a PAL country).

        h.264 (used by 5Dii, 7D, D7000 etc.) is a proper codec I might add.

        Whatever codec it is, it should be 50mbs and 4:2:2 colour (I’m dreamin’ ?)

        • Phil

          I’ll take MJPEG over h.264 any day. Sure, you can’t store as much with it, but there’s a reason for that. It’s much better spec. You have a real frame for every frame. The h.264 spec’s only advantage is longer reco9rding times, at a price.

          The only detriment would be if you can’t assign compression quality. You should have the option to set it to your needs. MJPEG would also give you the option of 4:2:2 color (if the manufacturer allowed it), something you can’t get with h.264 at all.

          If it’s allowed to be used to the best of it’s potential, MJPEG blows h.264 out of the water.

  • Annan Sees

    If they upgrade it to include the CLS and has the same video options as the D7000 (high and standard quality ) I’m getting one as I love the small size of D5000. Don’t care if it’s 14MP

  • broxibear

    I remember someone suggesting the Nikon mirrorless would use Sony’s NEX5 sensor…makes sense.
    Wonder if Sony will try and steal some of the Nikon thunder by releasing their new NEX3 in the same week ?

    • Sahaja

      That would make the Nikon mirrorless APS-C

  • If it’s not FX, then yawn.

    • Then I would suggest you commence hibernation immediately.

    • R R

      hibernation in progress here.. I am going to wait for the D800 no matter what.

    • Mock Kenwell

      Ron, I thought you’d be all over the night vision feature.

      • You mean the night vision rumor? Guess we’ll see if it’s real. Then if it’s good.

        • Mock Kenwell

          Sorry, I should have been more specific! I meant ronscubadiver. I figured night vision would come in handy for his shooting style.

          • But alas, it was my fault. You were, threadlically speaking, referring to his post, not mine. I guess I’m not used to having another Ron on here. 🙂

            And now it all makes sense.

  • K

    So it will be announced in a week.

  • Chrash

    Bla-bla-blabin about FX. You will get want you want. In due time.
    The D5100 is a serious thing to look forward to. Especially if they make it a better then the 550/600d. I see a lot of people who shoot video with a 550d using Nikkors with adapters. It’s time to give them a real tasty treat.

    And I look forward to athe new D400. I find that the D300s is the camera which needs a replacement the most. Because just taking the D300 and adding that small s was not enough in any way.

    • anon

      The custom firmware you can get for the 550D, Magic Lantern, also makes them extremely good for producing video on. Not sure that the D5100 will be able to match this out of the box and I don’t know if anybody has made any custom firmware for Nikon SLR’s.

  • broxibear

    Interesting price changes going on in the UK today.
    The cheapest in stock Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II on is now £1645, but what’s really interesing is that the only other seller on amazon who has stock has put their price up to a massive £2169.
    On there is no UK stock of this lens at all (new or used), the only new ones listed are those from the far east (Hong Kong, Taiwan)… the prices of these are also going up, one place has them at £2140.
    I knew the pro lenses would increase in price but I’m surprised they’ve gone so high so quickly…I’d act quickly if you were thinking of buying one.

    • JakeB

      Bought a new Nikon 24-70 last week for 1419 euros from a German online dealer, which is a good price at any time, and phenomenal with shortages coming.

      By the way, I’m less than happy with sharpness at some focal points. Could be that some people’s claims of phenomenal sharpness have set my expectations too high, me shooting at low shutter speeds, lack of VR, or the D7000’s rather unforgiving sensor.

      Anybody have good results with sending one in to Nikon for recalibration and general quality control check?

  • kayaker353

    Are there any rumors regarding lenses? I am most anxious for an 80 to 400 replacement.

    • the latest info I got is that we may not see any pro lenses in 2011, not sure how reliable this is

      • man and steamboat

        what’s your expextations on whether we’ll see new FX this year?

  • Antony blake

    Just back from Cali got the last 35mm f1.4 I could find. Dealer and I chewing the fat. He was 100% sure no mirror less from Nikon. I really hope he is wrong specially a pro version.

    Fingers and toe crossed

    • broxibear

      Hi Antony blake,
      Did the dealer say anything about stock, ie was he expecting any shipments ?

  • SGN

    Any Lens news???

  • ChrisC

    Perhaps “night vision mode” is something to do with shooting under IR light. There is quite a market in modifying Nikon cameras to operate as multi-spectral devices. With older cameras it was often a simple exercise to use an external IR filter, but with improving internal IR filtering, it is now often necessary to open up the camera and change the internal filtering (and voiding your warranty). Perhaps this is something for all those IR photographers!!

    • bobos

      I totally agree. Some think it is a boosted high ISO but then why would they give it a different name. By the same token, they would call the D3S “blind vision” mode. I think they might either use a flip up IR filter or some kind of pre-processing digital filter or something to disable the IR filter..???

  • Badcowboy

    I could swear I saw a whole pallet of d5100s at the Costco in Lonetree, CO this afternoon.

  • Gabry

    my friends in NITAL says that the D5100 would be available for order in Italy on MAY only for selected Nital retailers.

    The new D700 would be announced at the end of August…..on shelf for end of september….?

  • Mourie

    Hi everybody

    if ever the D400 comes out in August (or about) what would be the initial price in Euro in your opinion ?

    How much did the D300 and D300s cost at the launch ? (right now at the d300s is 1280 euro… significantly MORE than this then ? or the same ?)

    • broxibear

      Hi Mourie,
      The D300s body was €1400 when first released, I’d expect any D400 to be around €1700 going by current nikon price trends with other replacements like the D3100.
      The events in Japan might make them higher though.

      • Mourie

        ty 🙂

        i just ordered a D7000 (999 eu) 1400 or more for the body is too much for my wallet

  • Zen Shlockwell

    Any word about how much the D5100 will cost?

    • OMR

      More or less like T3i, I think between 750 and 800 USD with kit lens 18-55.

      Have a nice day my friend.

  • Victor

    Hmm, I thought that all new-model cameras were required to have recessed contacts to prevent unintentional short circuits during carrying? Thus, I call the EN-EL9 battery specification BOGUS.

    • Zen Shlockwell

      I’m not familiar with that issue. Do you mean unintentional short circuits during carrying the camera or a loose battery?

    • enesunkie

      I’d guess it would use the same battery as the D3100, not the D7000.

  • making it hard for me to decide if I’ll go for D3100 or wait and see if D5100 is better than we are expecting it to be.

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